Tips and advice
There are things to consider when bringing a puppy or dog into your life, including:
- dogs can live for up to 13 years and beyond, so it's a long-term commitment
- do not buy a puppy from a roadside or meeting point
- the puppy must be more than eight weeks old
- see the puppy with its mother
- make sure the puppy is microchipped before buying
- ask for a veterinary record of initial vaccinations
- ask how the puppy has been socialised to make sure it is prepared for the world around it
- buy a dog licence from your local council (it's an offence to keep a dog without having a licence to keep it)
- be prepared to agree to a home visit if you're thinking of giving a dog a new home
- ask about the temperament of the dog, especially if there are children in your home
Illegally-bred puppies often have health conditions, behaviour problems, and infections and diseases. This can result in huge vet bills, a short and miserable life for the puppy, and heartache for you and your family.
Also, beware unknowingly paying for one which has come from outside the UK and has not been properly vaccinated.
You can find out more on the following page:
It's an offence for anyone who's responsible for a dog to fail to make sure that the needs of the dog are met.
The penalty for this offence is up to six months imprisonment and/ or a fine of up to £5,000.
More useful links
- Lost and stray dogs
- Banned breeds of dogs in Northern Ireland
- Controlling your dog in public
- Animal welfare and pets